Information published recently in relation to the sale of the former park keeper's lodge in Victoria Park shows that the site is still under threat of development despite the recent refusal of a planning application to build a five storey block of flats there. Labour councillors had asked a series of questions about the sale of the site and planning application at the Policy & Resources committee on 1 September, and received the following response from the Council amongst the answers:
"The case officer provided negative advice against this scheme but did suggest that development of some type may be acceptable."
In another answer the Council confirms that the covenants on the land restricting its use to a park keeper's lodge, or other building in connection to a recreation ground, remain in place stating that "It should be noted that on disposal the land sold was freed from the Trust but not the restrictive covenants which are separate and distinct from the Trust."
Labour councillors have pledged to continue supporting residents against any over-development of the site.
Labour Group Deputy Leader and West Finchley councillor, Ross Houston said: “Labour councillors opposed this sale. The Tories running Barnet council have rushed to sell this site in order to achieve a capital receipt without thinking through what the land would be used for and whether that would be acceptable to local residents. By selling the lodge and by not putting in place any additional safeguards the council has allowed developers to think they can demolish the lodge and overdevelop the site.
“Residents, park users and the wider community must be consulted and listened to about any future use for this site.”
1. The answers to Labour councillors' questions have been published here (Agenda Item 6b): http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=692&MId=8729&Ver=4
For more information contact Cllr Ross Houston: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568